Outgrown: Indian Artist Illustrates A Zine For Homegrown On The Art Of Letting Go

Outgrown: Indian Artist Illustrates A Zine For Homegrown On The Art Of Letting Go
Kanushi Rathore & @anushkainquarantine

In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), Atticus Finch, while explaining the importance of empathy to his daughter, Scout, tells her, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb in his skin and walk around in it.” One tends to fall back on this dictum quite often while striking up relationships based on bonds of love and understanding. But the nature of life is such that, sometimes, you grow out of them.

Kanushi Rathore, a Jaipur-based artist with her new artwork, ‘Outgrown’, that she modelled after Homegrown, tells us that this is something that happens organically, and sometimes, for the best. ‘Outgrown’ is one of the six zines designed by the artist from Jaipur as part of her college project which she partook in, along with her teammate, Anushka Saju. Colour and detail play an important role in her work which mostly revolves around women and extraterrestrial themes. “Music also plays an important role in my life.”, she says. “I move with music, create with music and get inspired from music.”

Kanushi is currently quarantining with her parents at home and feels that this long stretch of solitude has encouraged her to try out new things in terms of art. She has also picked up speed in her work and has been meeting deadlines more consistently than ever. “Listening to music, making art and meditation really gets me going,” she muses.

In the aforementioned artwork, she explores the concept of ‘outgrowing’, which is an integral part of life. “The key to attaining peace is letting go. When you let go, you grow out of people and places,” says Kanushi in her zine. She sees this as part of a human’s journey of “self-discovery” and “personal growth”, the two most intrinsic aspects of every human life. The monotony of the little corners of your comfort zone grows paler and insipid by the day until it gives way to something completely new – a space that you have grown into.

Kanushi’s art traces the individual’s journey of “outgrowing” their life situations through the depiction of a woman who seems alienated from the rest of her surroundings. The artist has changed her colour palettes in the two successive pictures to show the change of seasons as the woman tries to make sense of her life. The depiction of the change of seasons is also a metaphorical illustration of the “changes” in her own life.

Outgrowing and leaving people does come with a lot of pain and discomfort, as do most things that undergo a change. At the same time, remaining stuck in a situation that no longer serves your well-being can be stagnating and unfulfilling at large. Kanushi also believes that the idea of having “outgrown” something is not easy. “One can get so used to the small spaces that they start doubting about going elsewhere.” For a brief moment, the same old confines seem more appealing than what awaits you. It takes courage to be able to leave them behind but it’s important to understand its necessity.

Kanushi Rathore is an artist from Jaipur and currently pursing a degree in design from Pune.

You can check out her Instagram here.

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